1911 vs. six shooter for concealed carry

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by dom21, Aug 19, 2012.

  1. dom21

    dom21 New Member

    I'm having a hard deciding on which way to go as far as my concealed carry goes. So if someone could help me out with some pros and cons would be great.
    Thanks in advance
  2. JonM

    JonM Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    depends on what you like to shoot more. what works for me may not be your preference. i carry a springfield xdm 3.8 compact 45acp daily.

    personally im not a revolver fan for CCW. if i WAS going to carry one i would be using 357magnum chambering.

    revolver can use much much more effective cartridges than a semi auto. the 357 magnum 158grain hollowpoint is the undisputed king of self defense rounds. revolvers are stuck with 6 shot capacity usually with horrendously long trigger pulls. semi autos can be much smaller and still maintain ease of use. really small revolvers are very difficult to use effectivley and quickly.

    the argument of reloading with SD guns is a moot one. such usage seldom goes past 5 or 6 rounds at most often with 2-3 being the average fired. i dont even typically carry an extra magazine for my semi auto but it holds either 10+1 or 13+1 depending ont he magazine im using.

    if you do have to reload a revolver it is a fine motor skill that takes time and concentration which you have neither of when the adreneline is flowing. reloading a semi-auto takes gross motor skills which tend to work better under stress. but i think its a non-issue at best.

    both types can fail from various causes and reasons just as frequently as the other. the differnece is buying a quality firearm and using quality accessories and ammunition. if you buy cheap expect failure to be the norm. revolvers are no more "jam proof" than a semi-auto is. revolvers not malfunctioning or jamming is an utter myth. a good quality handgun, revolver or semi auto, with good ammunitio will fire when you pull the trigger regardless of hype.

    i would suggest renting good versions of each and trying before you buy at a local range
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012

  3. phildenton

    phildenton New Member

    see if there is a range that has rentals and try several of each out, the gun needs to be of adequate power [preferably .380acp/.38spl MINIMUM], it needs to fit your hand well with a good grip, and you need to be able to stay on target with it. with propper holster selection just about anything can be concealed and remain comfortable to carry all day. also need to figure out how you want to carry it, hip iwb, hip owb, shoulder vertical, shoulder horizontal, small of back, appendage carry, ankle, crossdraw or strongside, etc
  4. Olympus

    Olympus New Member

    Or you could always go with a 627 Performance Center "Bloodwork" snubbie with an 8-round capacity. :D
  5. Donn

    Donn Well-Known Member

    Have both, carry both depending on situation and weather. My snubby conceals better than any of my autos, Shield included. When cooler weather comes, I'll sometimes pack my S&W model 19 4" bbl. 357mag. An auto goes with me 80-90% of the time, but I wouldn't carry a wheelgun, (or anything else), if I didn't have confidence in it.
  6. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator Lifetime Supporter

    VERY good posts above me. I carry either a compact 45 or a 38/ 357 snubby.

    One thing you must consider is weight and size. I HAVE carried a full sized 1911A1 concealed- when I was an LEO, wearing a coat. It was heavy and bulky. A J frame S&W is a lot smaller, lot lighter. It goes back to the first rule of gunfighting- HAVE a gun. If you left it home in the safe because it was not convenient to carry........

    Second governing factor is reliability. If it does not work 100.000000% of the time, you have a poorly designed club. Whatever you choose, be sure that it functions flawlessly WITH whatever ammo you plan to carry.

    I do not feel poorly armed with .45ACP or .357 Magnum- and there ARE other good choices.
  7. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

    I would not be afraid to carry anything that I shoot well. Any real caliber anyway. Not a fan of 22s. Although I have carried a 22 mag in my gym shorts pocket. Just be sure that whatever you carry you are proficient with. Too many people buy a mouse gun and then never shoot it.
  8. pioneer461

    pioneer461 New Member

    Need more in-put.
    Are you thinking full size, or smaller?

    Each platform has it's advantages and disadvantages, but as with most things in life, what works best for one person, won't necessarily work well for you. Concealing a full size handgun can be a bit more difficult than the smaller sized guns, but the smaller guns can limit such things as ammo capacity and shoot-ability. I actually own more revolvers than semi-autos, and at any given time may carry either, or both if I wish to have a backup gun (usually at work).

    I would recommend that you find a well stocked gun store, or gun show, and handle as many as you can get your hands on. Once you decide which one fits your hand well, find a range that lets you rent guns, unless you know someone who will let you fire theirs, and see how it works for you. Buying a quality firearm can be an expensive proposition, but get one you really like and it can last your lifetime and that of your kids and grandkids as well.

    If you are new to shooting, probably the best advice you can get, regardless of the type of gun, is to get professional training. Not just a concealed carry class, but real training from a certified instructor. Forget everything you have learned about guns from movies and Tee-Vee and erase it from your memory, because it is wrong.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  9. Colby

    Colby Member


    Semiautos common failure modes:
    Failure to feed
    Failure to fire causing the weapon to be "dead" - no more function.

    Each of those failure modes must be cleared by the operator - with skill - or the weapon is "dead".

    Revolvers have none of these.

    The only one even similar is if the revolver load contains a bad round resulting in a failure to fire - but the gun is not disabled by that like a semi auto is. You merely pull the trigger again and go to the next round. A semi auto is dead. Won't function until the shooter clears the dead round.

    And, oh by the way, never shoot a semi auto from inside a purse or pocket or other cover. It is most likely going to be a one shot gun after the slide catches and jams on a piece of fabric or Kleenex or...
    --- Doesn't apply to revolvers - shoot them through anything.

    And, oh, don't get nervous and shoot with a limp wrist - the semi auto may not cycle to the next round - another jam - which must be skillfully cleared before the gun functions again.
    Doesn't apply to revolvers - they don't have a force based reaction auto cycle rechamber mechanism as semi autos do. The cylinder just turns - and it goes bang.

    I have seen many of these failure modes in semi autos. I have never seen a revolver jam or unable to fire. Or even heard of a jam in a revolver. Explain how a revolver could jam....

    But don't take my word for it. Do your own research. Or take a gun class - they will spend a good amount of time teaching people the shortcomings of semi autos and the proper and necessary way to handle them and clear them of jams.

    Revolver is the most reliable way to shoot.
    What myth are you talking about?

    You may prefer semi autos but that is your own personal preference - not to be confused with the actual characteristics of each gun type.
  10. kycol

    kycol New Member

    If I walked out my door and I was 100% sure I would have to use my weapon to save my life. I would have my colt 357 revolver with me. Even though I have semi-autos than have performed flawless 99.999% of the time. Be it ammo, mag related there is always that .001% chance
  11. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

    What revolver and how do you live and dress??. Maybe nether is best. I carried a taurus 85 for 20 years now a compact or sub 9mm. You will know better than any of us as some here will cc a 44 mag.
  12. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

    I am mainly a 1911 guy and that's what I kept with my for a long time. I still do for the most part. But I recently bought a Smith 637 Airweight and that's what I've had on me in these hotter summer days. I can drop the thing in my pocket and it's like it's no there it's so light. With a decent +P round it's still easy to shoot and I don't feel underpowered. I really have no problem with capacity. I'm not one that carries a lot with me anyway. I have a friend that carried a G19 with 2 extra mags and I just can't see needing that much ammo. I don't plan on needing that many shots anyway. It's why I practice/train so much ;) If I really need30+ rounds then I must have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque Doc.

    Get what you shoot best. You should be able to use the weapon and hit your target without needing to think about it too much. You wont have time to if sometihng bad i sgoing no truth be told. So you should be 100% comfortable with what you are carrying to protect yourself. Either a revolver or semi auto will get it done. They both have their plus and minuses. All handguns are a compromise when you get down to it. So just make the compromise that fits you best.
  13. Colby

    Colby Member

    If it's concealed carry that you're talking about - previous poster is correct. A lot of ammo is not going to be needed. It will be up close. Two or three shoots is the entire thing.
    Concealed carry laws even specify that you must be responding to an imminent threat to your life. Meaning very close. Not across the street... Many states even require fleeing as the most appropriate response - and reasonably so...
    If you were to shoot someone form a distance that does not present an imminent threat (close) you would be charged with murder - most likely. That is not self protection - that is something else.

    So concealed carry for self protection - likely a gun that will shoot reliably - and close up. You don't need extreme accuracy - you are close up and pointing the gun - not aiming from a distance. This is not hunting.

    Most any caliber that you can carry comfortably enough - so that you will carry - rather than leave at home that day - because it is too big, too heavy too uncomfortable, too unconcealable,.... that's what you should carry. It's real pretty simple - made complicated by many people and there perceptions of what is good (lots of ammo - huge calibers - latest technology - vast magazines - ...) There is a lot of gee whiz - need bigger, better - out there about guns. These are not hunting trips you are preparing for - they are up close and personal self defense.

    Hunting trips - going to Alaska camping - maybe you might need a heavy caliber and be good at 150 feet. ----- But that is not concealed carry.

    For concealed carry it must shoot. When you need it to shoot - and not jam.

    And if it's a 22, that's fine. Plenty of people laugh at 22's - but more people have been killed in history with 22's than any other caliber.
    -- Exp. Would you stand in front of a 22 and let someone shoot you? How about when someone unloaded his 22 into you??
  14. phildenton

    phildenton New Member

    If you go with revolver you can usually get lighter springs (trigger and hammer) to smooth out and reduce the trigger squeeze and not very expensive either, i paid less than $20 to do mine recently.
  15. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

    If you like a DA action type trigger and want thin look at a kahr pistol. Maybe a cw, p or tp series if a larger is wanted too.
  16. Cheeseman

    Cheeseman New Member

    I my opinion, a revolver is much easier for a novice shooter to use. being of simple mind myself, I find autos too complex, too hard to clean and ammo fussy. Those of you that are pros or semi-pros I know will disagree, but WTH?
  17. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Primer on a factory load backed out and locked up the revolver. Almost had to take it to a gunsmith. It took over 20 minutes to get it working with the help of the range officer. We did not wnt to leave the range with a loaded firearm.
    A squib can shut down any firearm
  18. genesis

    genesis New Member

    Either one is fine. Just depends on what you prefer. We bought my girlfriend a Ruger LCR in 38 Special (not 357 mag) for $399, which I've shot extensively. It is definitely one sweet gun! Light as a potato chip (13 oz), reliable as dirt, butter smooth trigger, and accurate as all heck. Drop it in your front pocket, and you will literally forget it's there. It's that light! Nice thing about a revolver is ya pull it out and pull the trigger. BANG! No safeties, jams or malfunctions to deal with or worry about. If a revolver ever malfunctions, it's almost always caused by the ammo, not the gun. Pay no attention to the myth that snubbies or mouse guns are not accurate or hard to shoot. With some patient and proper instruction, my 67 year old girl friend can handle her LCR just fine. I pity the poor soul if she ever has to drop the hammer on someone. For SD, 38 special is all ya need. There's way to much recoil with a 357 mag. And the 357 version is $100 more expensive. Now if it were going to do double duty as a woods gun, then I'd go with the 357. But for SD, with today's modern SD ammo, the 38 special caliber works just fine. Below are some video reviews on the Ruger LCR in 38 special.

    Hickok45 has over 650 gun review vids on youtube. He's a retired police officer and does excellent reviews.


    In the below video Nutnfancy explains why the 38 special is better than a 357 for SD. If ya like a 357, then go for it. It all depends on what you can shoot accurately and fast.


    I've been a revolver guy most of my life, but I just recently purchased a Ruger SR40C. I just had to try one of these new polymer, striker fired autos. I have to say that they are mighty nice! I have a shooting range on my property, reload my own ammo, and practice "a lot". That's the key. Practice. If ya don't reload, consider a 9MM. Ammo is relatively cheap ($10 a box), compared to other calibers.

    So it really doesn't matter what ya get (make, model or caliber). Even the diminutive little 380 is potent with today's modern SD ammo. There's a plethora of extremely fine choices in today's market. Just get what ever your comfortable with and can afford to practice with "a lot", be it revolver or auto. Then practice, practice, practice, and practice some more. Caliber or firepower won't save your butt. Skill and presence of mind will.

    Before you buy "anything", go to youtube and do a search on any gun you're interested in. You will find a bazillion gun vids. (But I warn you, watching them can become addictive.)

    Enjoy the journey, happy shooting, and always be safe.

    Don <><
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  19. sebbie

    sebbie New Member

    I have a group of guys I hang out with that do training and such for CCW, Police, & one retired FBI guy. They play a game of buzzer! draw! and fire!

    So everyone is out on the range with their concealed carry weapon. They designate someone as shooter and when the buzzer goes off they have to draw and fire at their 12inch target only 7yds away.

    Its also timed. In the mean time everybody is talking loud (age and hearing protection) and discussing things and BUZZ the damn things goes off and scares the crap out of you. The designated guy or girl rarely hit on the first shot and hardly ever get a shot off in under 3 sec. Guns are dropped, safeties forgotten and the like by the newcomers. The older and more trained guys do it pretty well.

    But there is one guy who has a problem with the 1911 and speed, so he just runs down and sticks it with his knife in 3 sec flat.:D

    The bottom line; get something you can shoot when that adrenalin jolt hits you!
  20. Colby

    Colby Member

    Genesis ---

    Yeah, that hickok45 guy is pretty good - does excellent reviews of guns. But that guy can really shoot well -there on his own range. And the in video on the 38 snubnose you offered - he shows that a snubnose - even with that short barrel can hit a distant target. Pretty impressive.
    It's up to the shooter.